Why It Pays To Keep Fresh Sourdough Bread Wrapped Up
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Why It Pays To Keep Fresh Sourdough Bread Wrapped Up

May 19, 2023

Perhaps it's a recurring issue: Every weekend, you head to your local farmer's market to stock up on your fix of freshly baked sourdough bread from your favorite local baker. Or perhaps, fresh baked sourdough bread isn't on your regular shopping list and is more of a treat. Regardless of which way you slice it, more often than not, that loaf of sourdough will go stale before you can get the chance to finish it.

Despite having a longer shelf life than other freshly baked bread — sourdough is said to last anywhere from four to five days when stored at room temperature , thanks to the various acids the bread contains — the expectation of going through an entire loaf before it goes bad is not always realistic, especially if you're cooking for yourself most of the time. Fortunately, there are ways to preserve the bread even longer.

Rather than refrigerating your bread (which actually speeds up the staling process), you can extend your sourdough's shelf life while keeping it at room temperature. All you have to do is wrap up the bread on the third day. Whether you use beeswax wrap, aluminum foil, a bread box, or plastic wrap, wrapping your sourdough helps maintain the soft center and crusty exterior for a couple more days. Then, if you still haven't finished it by the fifth day, you can freeze it.

Keeping your sourdough fresh is all about the long game, and the last thing you want to do is throw it in the refrigerator. Before you bring your bread home, double-check with the baker so you know whether it was baked the day of or the day before. Then, when you bring the bread home, you'll know how long you can leave it out at room temperature uncovered. After two days, however, is when you want to cover your bread.

Timing is important here, because if you wrap the bread too early, the bread could still be releasing moisture. That moisture will then only end up getting trapped, sitting on the crust, and ruining its precious texture. Generally, for crusty bread like sourdough, the best time to cover it is on the third day. Beeswax wrap is known to be the best for this because it is naturally porous. When your bread is wrapped, it can usually sit on your countertop for another two to three days.

At that point, if you still haven't managed to eat up all of your sourdough, then you should put it in the freezer. In fact, if you already know you won't be finishing your bread within five days, you can throw it in your freezer first thing. Your sourdough can be frozen whole, or sliced, and will last for four to six months.